Frequently Asked Questions

I'm pregnant, do I need a referral from my GP to go to Peel Maternity & Family Practice?

No, we are a GP-Obstetric led practice and therefore you do not need a referral.

How many weeks pregnant should I be when I make my appointment at Peel Maternity & Family Practice?

As soon as you know you’re pregnant, please call on (08) 9534 8133 and book an appointment with us. We will be able to do your dating scan in house and will give you a referral for your first round of blood tests.

I have a busy work schedule. How many appointments will I need to book from now until I have my baby?

From 8 weeks until 40 weeks you should plan to come to Peel Maternity 14 times. Your appointments in the first trimester are every 6 weeks, second are every 4 weeks and in the third are fortnightly then weekly from 36 weeks

There are so many antenatal classes, which ones do I do?

Antenatal classes are important to help you not only prepare for the birth of your baby but how you can look after yourself and baby during your pregnancy and after you give birth.

We offer three antenatal classes: Pregnancy Essentials, Bringing Baby Home and Preparation for Childbirth.

Pregnancy Essentials is for both first time mothers and those having their second or third child, at 16-24 weeks. In the class our midwife and physiotherapist focus on essential exercise information; what is safe to do and how to do it, how to look after your pelvic floor and how NOT to be incontinent at 40 years old plus what is ‘normal’ and common pregnancy concerns and discomforts as well as the importance of diet and exercise.

Our Bringing Baby Home at 26-32 weeks follows the teachings of the famous Gottman Institute and how to manage the changes with baby coming home. We will discuss everything from bonding with your baby, how to read their cues and needs, how to get through this trying time with relationship satisfaction, and how to cope and resolve conflicts that arise. This is also a useful class for second time parents and has been proven to significantly reduce the risk of post-natal depression for mum and support person.

Our Preparation for Childbirth from 32-36 weeks discusses all your concerns about childbirth, various methods and modes of delivery, how labour begins and progresses, types of birth, when to go to hospital and what to take, pain relief, birthing positions, relaxation, support person’s role, breastfeeding, issues and questions. We also discuss post-delivery care and recovery.

What is the 6 week check and what is included?

The 6 week check is a checkup of both mum and baby. For mum we check that physically she has returned to her pre-pregnant state, that she is coping ok and answer any questions or concerns she or her support person may have. If a PAP smear is due then we will do it at this appointment if you wish as well as organising contraception if needed. It is also an opportunity to talk about the birth if you wish to. For baby it is a head to toe physical examination including weight, length and head circumference. We also address any concerns about the baby, answer questions, talk about feeding and settling, write referrals if needed and generally make sure that your journey into parenthood is going ok. The 6-8 week vaccinations for baby are not routinely given at this appointment and need to be booked in separately with reception.

Can I bring my support person to the appointments and the classes?

Yes your support person or people are more than welcome at all appointments and classes.

I'm finding breast feeding hard and don't think I'm producing enough milk, where can I get help?

Our midwives are all very experienced with breast feeding. If you need help with breast feeding then please don’t wait until your 6 week check, you can book an appointment with a midwife through reception at any time. If you are not breast feeding but have other feeding concerns then you are also most welcome to come and see us.

Do I have postnatal depression?

The transition into parenthood brings with it many different experiences, emotions, and challenges. It can be a happy time, but also a very stressful time, during which you need to make a lot of adjustments. Every women’s experience is different and symptoms of depression or anxiety can emerge at any time.

Postnatal depression occurs in all cultures and all socioeconomic classes, and can happen to women off all child-bearing ages. It can present with mild, moderate or severe symptoms. It can present during pregnancy, in the weeks soon after birth, or many months later.

If you are feeling alone, tearful, low in mood, anxious, irritable, or generally not coping, please book an appointment with one of our GPs who will be able to discuss your feelings and talk to you about meeting with Christine, who is our in-house psychologist. Christine works with our patients to create plans to improve emotional health and well-being as well as how to make meaningful changes to reach their goals. Christine has over 25 years of experience working in both public and private practice with a broad range or psychological presentations

What is settling? And what are settling techniques?

Settling is the act of soothing a baby. You will become the expert in what your baby likes best but to learn more, come along to the Bringing Baby Home class to have this and many other questions answered.

I feel like I've just had my baby and I'm not ready for number two, can I speak to you about contraception?

This is routinely discussed at the 6 week check but you can make an appointment with any of our doctors if you wish to discuss this earlier than the 6 week check.

Can I book my vaccinations and my child's at Peel Maternity?

At Peel Maternity, all childhood vaccinations are administered with the help of our GPs. It is a great opportunity to review how your child is growing, discuss their developmental milestones and raise any issues you might be experiencing. You can book this with our reception staff.

My baby cries a lot - is this normal?

It is very normal for all babies to cry every day, remember crying is a baby’s only way of communicating with us and we need to decide from the cry what the baby is trying to tell us. If you think your baby’s crying is excessive or abnormal then please make an appointment with one of our doctors for a review.

I have been pregnant before but I'm experiencing aches and pains this pregnancy that I didn't experience with my first pregnancy.

Every pregnancy is very different. It is common to experience different or more severe pregnancy aches and pains in subsequent pregnancies that you either didn’t experience at all or didn’t experience until the end stages of your first pregnancy. If you are concerned then discuss it with your midwife or doctor. A visit with our physio and attending our Pregnancy Essentials class can also be very helpful.

Confused about the current recommendations and availability of meningococcal vaccinations?

Meningococcal infection is a serious illness that can have devastating consequences. Although the majority of people will fully recover, 10% of those affected will die, and 20% will have permanent disability. It can be difficult to identify early and progresses rapidly. It is most common in young children (0-5yrs) and in teenagers (15-19yrs), however it can occur at any age.

There are many strains – A, B, C, W and Y.

Children in WA are currently vaccinated against meningococcal C at 12 months of age, through the WA immunisation schedule. Because of this, meningococcal C is at an all time low, and meningococcal B has typically been the most prevalent strain. In 2016 there were 6 cases of meningococcal B in WA, and 93 cases in Australia.

There is now a vaccine available against meningococcal B (called Bexsero), but it is not funded on the immunisation schedule, and patients need to pay privately for it (usually around $150 per dose). Depending on age, 2 or 3 doses are required, 2 months apart. It is safe to be given at the same time as other routine childhood vaccinations, and can be given from 2 months of age. If started under 6 months of age, 4 doses of Bexsero is required (3 primary doses and one booster).

Until recently, meningococcal W strain was very rare, and immunisation against W strain was not usually recommended. However the number cases of meningococcal W infection have been increasing over the last few years, and last year there were 12 cases in WA, and 100 cases Australia wide. Available vaccines that include the W strain are called Menveo, Menactra, and Niminrix. These vaccines also contain other strains of meningococcal – A, C, W, and Y. Again, these vaccines need to be purchased privately, cost around $100, and depending on age, 2 or 3 doses are required.

The decision to vaccinate against meningococcal B and W strain is yours to consider. If you would like any further information, or would like to discuss further, please book to see one of our friendly GPs.


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